Tigard police levy heads to solid victory
Tigard's local option levy to add police services was winning by a solid margin with initial results showing it heading to a 55.31% to 44.69% victory.At issue for Measure 34-295 was adding eight new patrol officers and a school resource officer to the Tigard Police Department. The measure will also provide funding for officers to receive training on intervention techniques and show them how to de-escalate a situation that might prove dangerous.
The levy had asked voters for 29 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, which city officials predict will cost the owner of a typical house assessed at $280,000, around $81 more each year.
City officials had pointed out that there are not enough officers in the city's five patrol district – three to four officers per shift – to keep pace with a community that has added 19,000 residents over the last two decades.
The levy victory proved somewhat of a surprise in that two surveys conducted by the city didn't show strong support for the measure even when cost went from 46 cents to 29 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
While Tigard has 69 sworn officers, Tualatin, Tigard's neighbor to the south, has a similarly sized police force for a city that is twice as small, officials have pointed out.
Although Tigard's crimes against persons are down, societal crimes — driving under the influence of intoxicants, homelessness/trespassing issues and the like — have increased, Tigard Police Chief Kathy McAlpine has said.
An independent audit conducted in 2019 called for adding eight more officers as well as a school resource officer in order to address service demands.
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